SMU Industry Leaders Dialogue features Indonesia’s Minister of Education and Culture Mr Nadiem Makarim who shares his vision and plans for higher education in Indonesia

SMU signs MOUs with Universitas Indonesia and Institut Teknologi Bandung respectively to foster academic collaborations, following the partnership it established with Universitas Gadjah Mada in 2015

Singapore, 1 October 2020 (Thursday) – Singapore Management University (SMU) welcomed Mr Nadiem Makarim, Minister of Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia, as the keynote speaker at its Industry Leaders Dialogue today.

Organised by SMU, the SMU International Advisory Council in Indonesia and the SMU Alumni Chapter in Indonesia, the theme of this year’s Dialogue was ‘The Future of Higher Education in a Post-Covid-19 Era’.

Minister Makarim engaged in a dialogue with SMU President Professor Lily Kong and shared his vision and plans for higher education in Indonesia. He also spoke about how he would see the pandemic reshaping education in Indonesia and took questions from the audience in a lively Q&A session moderated by Professor Kong.

Minister Makarim said, “Close collaboration between the private sector and the government is necessary to drive innovation, grow our economies, and create sustainability in a world of constant change. This collaboration cannot be limited by national boundaries but must extend across borders, such as the collaboration taking place between Singapore and Indonesia. SMU plays an important role in fostering growth and innovation in our societies. The signing of MOUs today will not only give opportunities for Indonesians to access world-class education but also be a benchmark for other local universities to collaborate with global institutions.”

SMU President Professor Lily Kong said, “Our goal is to be a hub of education and ideas – where the brightest prospective students enrol because it is where their futures can best be forged. We should be the site of innovation and ideas, where “industry” wants to partner us because we have a community with the quality of mind that generates ideas and solutions, where regional corporations also look to us for executive development, and training and upskilling their workforces.”

The Industry Leaders Dialogue marks the first major event led by Mr Eddy Sariaatmadja, Founder and Chairman of Emtek, since he assumed the Chair of SMU International Advisory Council in Indonesia recently. Established in April 2018, the Council aims to strengthen and deepen SMU’s collaboration and engagement with the government, academic and business communities in Indonesia.

Memoranda of Understanding

Minister Makarim also witnessed the signing of MOUs between SMU and Universitas Indonesia (UI), and between SMU and Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB).

With the MOU signings, SMU has established academic cooperation with the top three universities in Indonesia, the first being Universitas Gadjah Mada in 2015.

Professor Lily Kong said, “The new MOUs on academic cooperation with UI and ITB underscore the common interests and commitment of SMU and our two Indonesian partners to develop new generations of global-ready and responsible citizens for Singapore and Indonesia through educational collaborations. In terms of research, we look forward to exploring potential collaborations in three strategic priority areas of Digital Transformation, Sustainable Living and Growth in Asia.

“These MOUs follow an earlier MOU which SMU had signed with Universitas Gadjah Mada in 2015 for the exchange of faculty, staff and students from both universities and the joint development of SMU-X overseas experiential learning courses. We are keen to explore and develop similar collaborative arrangements with UI and ITB.”

Professor Ari Kuncoro, Rector of Universitas Indonesia said, “To strengthen the relationship and cooperation between institutions in the areas of education, research and curriculum programmes, UI is looking forward to collaborating with SMU in terms of student exchange programmes, visiting scholars, student internships, joint conferences and research collaborations. I hope with this MOU signing, it will further strengthen the relationship of both our universities, so both can learn and benefit from this mutual relationship.”

Professor Reini Wirahadikusumah, Rector of Institut Teknologi Bandung said, “With the spirit of friendship and professionalism, we hope to work together with SMU to create concrete mutual initiatives. Student exchanges, internships, dual degree programs are a few examples. Both ITB and SMU have strong programs in business, management, and information systems.”

Professor Panut Mulyono, Rector of Universitas Gadjah Mada said, “This event is a meeting between, not only two neighbours but also two good friends: Indonesia and Singapore. Collaboration between Indonesian and Singaporean institutions has been a long tradition. Both are important countries in the region with interest to be the hub in Southeast Asia in their respective interests. For UGM, SMU has a special place. It is such a privilege that UGM is the first university partner of SMU’s in Indonesia. We are glad that our partnership is alive and productive. We have recently conducted customized short-term programs. We had SMU-XO experiential learning program and a faculty study mission. Those programs have greatly enhanced understanding and engagement between the students and faculty of our universities. Apparently, our good relationship is now expanding.”

The MOUs with UI and ITB aim to facilitate new academic collaborations and to promote cultural understanding between SMU and the two universities. The MOUs will facilitate the exchange of students, faculty and educational resources between SMU and each university, as well as joint research.

SMU is in preliminary discussions with UI and ITB on launching joint programmes, as well as enabling student and faculty engagements within the next 12 months.

More than 8,000 business, government and academic leaders, students and the larger community from Indonesia and Singapore attended the virtual event, including H.E. Mr Suryopratomo, The Republic of Indonesia’s Ambassador to Singapore, and H.E. Mr Anil Nayar, Singapore’s Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia, who graced the event as special guests; SMU Chairman Mr Ho Kwon Ping, as well as SMU senior management and SMU alumni in Indonesia.

Please refer to the Annex for SMU’s collaborations with Universitas Indonesia and Universitas Gadjah Mada.